This Just In: Healy Exquisitely Wrestles with the Swift Passage of Time in “Nikes On”

Healy’s thoughtful, compelling single “Nikes On” arrives as a refreshing reminder of his poetic acumen, soothing melodies, and panoramic musical vision.
Listen: “Nikes On” – Healy




With two months already gone from 2020, some of us may be itching for the world to slow down; Memphis based artist Healy is no exception. Known for uniquely blending hip-hop, indie rock, and acoustic elements with stunning, personal songwriting, Healy positions himself as a rare standout, and one with few potential rivals. His single “Nikes On” arrives this week as a refreshing reminder of Healy’s poetic acumen, soothing melodies, and panoramic musical vision.

Nikes On - Healy

Nikes On – Healy

From the opening hum, buzz, and strum to the intimate final stated desire, “Nikes On” adds itself to the collection of Healy hits and rightfully so. The two and a half minute track – ironically – wastes no time in sharing profound emotion regarding the unstoppable rotation of the calendar.

Why time got his Nikes on
Runnin’ so fast you gon’ kill someone
And last time I checked
Who my friend is
Don’t depend on a stimulant
And the daydreams sting like sunburn
18 and ain’t getting’ younger
Why time got his Nikes on 

In “Nikes On,” Healy personifies “time” as a fast-paced runner, one that he cannot keep up with. He ponders over his friendships and tenses at the thought of not achieving his ambitions. His metaphors surrounding ‘stimulant’ friendships and ‘sunburn’ daydreams punch with a sharp degree of truth. As the weight of these thoughts begins to pare down, the beat increases its energy in opposition.

What’s the truth without someone to hear it?
What’s a feelin without someone to feel it?
What’s appealing?
Sleeping on the weekend
Home solo spinnin on the ceiling 

The way Healy confronts age and emotion feels uncannily genuine. Healy tells us, “I hadn’t lived the life I needed to live to finish writing ‘Nikes On’ until august of 2019. The song centers around the feeling of time running away from you. It serves as a reminder to be self-aware and present because time never stops, and fighting it is wasting it. I wanted to pair this stern, surreal personification of time with promising and uplifting production to convey a sense of harmony and acceptance of time. Time is yours for the taking, not the other way around.”

Healy (c) 2020



As the song progresses, Healy encourages us to remain present even if time is “runnin’ so fast you gon’ kill someone.” The people around him are focused on the now and he’s lost within the rooms of his mind.

You call shotgun
And I’ll sit in the back of my mind

The melody gradually introduces more playful flourishes to lighten the mood, and we even receive a token Healy sound addition with the hand-clap during the bridge. As the rhythm’s speed increases step-by-step, it brings the tune’s message full circle; we’re prompted once again to acknowledge our inability to effect the passage of time.

As expected, Healy delivers an intricately constructed single which doesn’t tip overboard or ache for more attention. His consistency for balance can be heard in any previous release, and now also in the polished sincerity of “Nikes On.”

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Listen: “Nikes On” – Healy



 

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Baylee is an aspiring music journalist who currently contributes to Atwood Magazine and the I Love Memphis Blog. A native (and proud) Memphian, she spends most of her time waiting for the next Bonnaroo, quoting School of Rock, and late night ordering Domino's cheesy bread. Follow me on Twitter for comments on the juiciest releases, climate change, and general revelry.